The Wilderness Within
2 days ago
"It's only that you needn't take all those moods and all those weaknesses and helplessnesses and so on as literal. One thing you do learn in therapy is how, when you have a depression, it belongs to you but you don't identify with the mood. You live your life in the depression. You work with the depression. It doesn't completely stop you. Depression is worst when we try to climb out of it, get on top of it."
Yet through depression we enter depths and in depth find soul. Depression is essential to the tragic sense of life. It moistens the dry soul, and dries the wet. It brings refuge, limitation, focus, gravity, weight, and humble powerlessness. It reminds of death. The true revolution begins in the individual who can be true to his or her depression. Neither jerking oneself out of it, caught in cycles of hope and despair, nor suffering through it till it turns, nor theologizing it -- but discovering the consciousness and depths it wants. So begins the revolution on behalf of soul.
"True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God." (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, 125)
"When a job still looked like a mere means of getting money rather than an opportunity for service, when the acquisition of money for financial independence looked more important that a right dependence upon God, we were still the victims of unreasonable fears. And these were fears which would make a serene and useful existence, at any financial level, quite impossible" (121.)Financial security, a desire to make sure that my nest is warm and comfy as I get close to retirement, is at the root of my fears. The point of all this unsatisfying effort. The cause of the sharp arguments I have with my partner. Self-striving instead of right dependence opens up the abyss for me.
Step Twelve: "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."Just for today.
We also fall into another similar temptation. We form ideas as to what we think God's will is for other people. We say to ourselves, “This one ought to be cured of his fatal malady,” or “That one ought to be relieved of his emotional pain,” and we pray for these specific things. Such prayers, of course, are fundamentally good acts, but often they are based upon a supposition that we know God's will for the person for whom we pray. This means that side by side with an earnest prayer there can be a certain amount of presumption and conceit in us. It is A.A.'s experience that particularly in these cases we ought to pray that God's will, whatever it is, be done for others as well as for ourselves.
The will of God is not a 'fate' to which we must submit, but a creative act in our life that produces something absolutely new, something hitherto unforeseen by the laws and established patterns. Our cooperation consists not solely in conforming to the external laws, but in opening our wills to this mutually creative act.